what makes a book “favorite”?

As you know from my recent review, I read and loved WARCROSS last month. I enjoyed it so much, in fact, that I might even call it a new favorite. Calling WARCROSS a favorite book made me start wondering what it really means and can mean to call a book a favorite book, because there were some things I didn’t like about it as well as things I loved. So, this post is all about what it means when we say a book is our favorite.


–you loved the book

Obviously, this is the main thing that makes a book a favorite: you have to LOVE the book. I did love WARCROSS overall, and I just had the “favorite book” feeling, so I now call it one of my favorite books.

–but I didn’t LOVE everything about it. Can the books we love have flaws?

After reading WARCROSS, I definitely don’t think a “favorite” book necessarily means the book has to be PERFECT. I thought some of the characterization of the Warcross teammates was lacking and could have done without or with more of the romance, but this didn’t deter my enjoyment of the book, and I think that’s the key thing. If you love a book with all your heart despite some flaws, it’s okay to call it a favorite! No book is perfect, frankly, so I think it’s totally reasonable to call a book a favorite even if there are things you don’t love about it.

–but it’s super different from what I usually call a favorite

WARCROSS, for me, is waaaaaay outside of the norm for my reading tastes and habits. I hardly ever reach for sci-fi or thrillers, but this book just captured me in that immediately loving the book type of way. I also think it’s very possible, probable, and totally okay for the type of book we usually call a favorite to evolve! I used to be super into dark, lyrical contemporaries, but lately, I’ve been a lot more into fluff contemps and fantasy, so books I consider favorites are changing from what they used to be, and that’s okay!

–is it okay to hold different genres to different standards?

I’ve also noticed lately that I tend to be a lot more forgiving of certain genres where I might not be with contemporaries. I think this is for a couple of reasons: I use fantasies, fluff, and non-contemp genres for escape, while I use my serious contemporaries for comfort and not feeling alone. I feel like I’m more likely to love a book I’m reading as an escape from real life more easily and despite flaws than I might for contemporary. I’ve also read more contemporaries than any other genre, so I’m a lot harsher with my critiques of them because I’ve read so many. I’m just starting to get into other genres, so I’m more willing to overlook things that I wouldn’t in contemps just because I’m enjoying the exploration of new things so much.


What it really comes down to when you call a book a favorite is honestly just that you love it though. A book doesn’t have to be a perfect work of art for someone to be entertained by it or cry buckets of punched feels tears over it or to make someone happier for a while. Reading tastes change and evolve, so it’s okay to call something a favorite now that you wouldn’t have a few years ago. Basically, it’s up to you what to call a favorite book, because only you know how much you loved it!


Did any part of this post make sense? Are you less critical with some genres than others?

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  1. This was such a thoughtful post. I tend to be a very harsh critic so I rarely find books that meet my criteria for a five star rating. A lot of the books that I call my favourites are rated four stars because I loved them but I didn’t think they were quite good enough for five stars. Even the books I rate five stars have cons (as you said, no book is perfect) and I think that’s totally okay! Thanks for sharing, I have to go move Warcross farther up my TBR now!

    1. That’s a very interesting point. I don’t do star ratings because they stress me out but I’d say even though it’s a favorite that Warcross is a 4 star read. I think reading it just made me realize that a book doesn’t have to be perfect to be a favorite. Thank you for your thoughtful comment; I hadn’t considered star ratings when writing this post 🙂

  2. I really loved this post. I think that you pose an interesting point: Can the books we love have flaws? I think a lot of times people equate a five star book to the PERFECT book. But does such a thing exist? And if it does, is it “perfect” because of how we felt while reading it or is it because it is some marvel of techniques, well-worked plot points, and the like?

    1. I think that is exactly what I was trying to get at with this post. A favorite book also has to do with how we FEEL about the book, not just the writing elements. Good point! 🙂

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